It’s no secret that I’ve been to Mexico quite a bit. Some event or occasion leads me there at least once per year. This year proved to be no different despite the obvious challenge – a global pandemic. This was my first venture outside of the U.S. since February, and I must say that all of the safety protocols enforced from the airlines to the resort, kept me at ease. Then there was the comfort I found from pumping myself with half a dozen supplements and vitamins and a purse full of Lysol wipes and sanitizer. Don’t judge me.
My most recent stay was for a business trip, but if you know me you know I mixed in some fun and relaxation too. The business event I was attending was held at The Grand at Moon Palace, a massive all-inclusive luxury resort just fifteen minutes from the Cancun airport.
The resort, which is under the Palace Resorts brand, definitely lives up to its name – GRAND. With 14 restaurants, a dozen bars, nine pools, a nearly 77,000 sq ft spa, a waterpark, bowling alley, nightclub, and many more amenities, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. As a person who prefers the smaller resorts and boutique hotels, it was a bit to consume. But I must say, the service and amenities made the expansiveness of this 1,316 room-resort much more palatable.
If you’re a person who has a large family or group of travelers, this resort is ideal. Additionally, if you want diversity in entertainment options without having to leave the property, I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Here are a few other reasons why the Grand at Moon Palace is a good choice.
One of the things I do love about large resorts is that they do not skimp on personal accommodations. The “standard” room at the Grand, which is called a Grand Deluxe Garden View, is more of a mini-suite. It comes complete with a separate living room area that boasts a whirlpool tub in the center of it. The generous sized balcony (or terrace if on the main level) comes with a chaise lounge, two chairs, and a table for outside dining. The double-sink bathroom with a rain shower stall and separate toilet room was a nice touch as well. While the design features felt a bit subdued, it is still considered every bit of luxury with a complimentary robe, slippers, and beach bags for all guests.
I’ve been to a lot of resorts around the Caribbean and Mexico, and this resort had one of the best spas I’ve visited. Appropriately named Awe Spa, it was not just about the size, rather it was the quality of the amenities that did it for me. Despite the grandness of it all, I felt at home and very much like I was inside of my personal oasis. It may have also had to do with the fact that the resort was not at capacity. But, either way, I loved it!
I opted for the 80-minute Aromatouch massage with essential oils. It was so heavenly, I actually wanted to cry real tears when it was over. Fortunately, my spa experience had just begun. I spent the next hour or so enjoying what they call the Water Journey Ritual. If you’ve ever experienced a hydrotherapy experience at a spa, this is their take on it. There are three different pools with different temperatures of water complete with waterfalls and whirlpool jets. If you’ve never experienced one, add it to your list. You’ll be glad I sent you.
The foodie in me had the time of my life at this resort. While I did not partake in all 14 restaurants, I certainly tried my best. Unlike many all-inclusive resorts that may have a few specialty restaurants, The Grand offered multiple options to satisfy any foodie’s delight. Beyond the standard Italian and steakhouse specialty restaurants, I was thoroughly impressed to find unique dining options not found at any other all-inclusive resorts I’ve patronized. These included Habibi, a restaurant offering authentic Lebanese cuisine; Cusco, offering culinary treats of Peru; and Le Chateau, a French fine dining experience. And of course, you can’t go to Mexico and not have authentic tacos. They were delicious! (By the way, they also had me at 24-hour room service…winning!)
The Beach and Pool
As a professional beach bum, you know I couldn’t do a review without thoroughly examining the beach and pool options. One plus is that this is a true beachfront property that sits right on the Caribbean Sea coast. While there aren’t many oceanfront or oceanview rooms (these options are reserved for the presidential suites), the property has a generous offering of beach chairs, daybeds, and beach service with unobstructed views of the ocean.
Side note, the Cancun region of Mexico has seen the overwhelming amount of sargassum seaweed that accumulates on the beach. It had significantly dissipated on this most recent visit but was definitely still present.
While I didn’t visit all nine pools, I did enjoy the diversity of some of the pools. Some offered dining options poolside, while others offered swim-up bars. I also appreciated the distinction between adult and kid-friendly pools.
I didn’t get a chance to visit the waterpark, but my friends who did had an absolute blast. The waterpark has its own food and beverage options and a separate lounge chair area for parents to relax and watch their kids at play.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at this delightful Palace resort. One of the things that can always make or break a stay is the service. While the amenities earn it “The Grand” designation, I believe the quality of the service took it beyond that. At each step, this resort went above and beyond to let their guests know that they are valued and welcome. That, my friends, is priceless and will certainly be qualified as a grand experience in my book.
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